After posting a respectable 9-6-1 record last season, the Ravens earned a playoff berth as well. And like many predicted, they were out in the first round. The idea was that Sussex Tech was a nice squad, but down-state soccer simply couldn't compete with the teams from Central and Northern Delaware.
Once again, the Ravens posted another respectable regular season record this season, going 8-5-2. Another playoff berth was earned by Tech and they headed unassumingly into the post season drawing 4th seeded Concord in the first round.
The Ravens, as the 13th seed, were given little – if any – chance to upset the upstart Raiders.
Not only were they victorious but they took a 2-0 lead into the 72nd minute before Concord was able to get on the scoreboard.
Next up, the Ravens took on the 5th seed, and Henlopen North rival, Caesar Rodney.
Unfortunately, they weren't able to pull out the victory but they competed and proved they can play with one of the state's tougher teams. After falling behind early, the Ravens battled back to score two late goals but weren't able to complete the comeback in time.
While it may have been a bitter sweet end, the Ravens certainly opened some eyes with their impressive tournament success.
"Overall we had a good season," said Tech Head Coach Carlos Villa. "We grew as a team on and off the field, we progressed in a lot of areas and it all came together in the tournament."
Tech had some strong senior leadership this season, which Villa credited with keeping the team tight all season long. He's hoping those leadership qualities can rub off on the returning underclassmen.
"We had some great leaders in Joe Rocco and Ian Crowther," said Villa. "Our captains exemplified strong leadership qualities and hopefully our underclassmen can continue to emulate their example."
Even though the Ravens will be losing both Rocco and Crowther along with four other seniors, Villa feels the returning underclassmen are ready to take over the reign's next season.
"We have a strong core of underclassmen," said Villa. "They've been able to be a part of this season and hopefully that will translate into further success next year."
While the season didn't end how they wanted, Villa and his squad can look back knowing they gave it their all and left nothing out there. However, with the skill returning and the mindset instilled into this program don't be surprised if the Ravens take another step forward next season.
"Probably are biggest accomplishment was playing complete matches without giving in to circumstances," said Villa. "The strong finish against CR scoring two late goals showed our perseverance and never give up attitude."
Page 2 of 2 - Ravens Record:
Sussex Tech Schedule
@ Polytech W 3-2
vs. Indian River L 1-0
vs. Smyrna W 7-0
@ Woodbridge W 9-0
vs. Laurel W 7-0
@ Concord L 2-0
vs. Milford L 1-0
vs. Sussex Central W 1-0
@ Delmar W 2-1
vs. Seaford T 1-1
@ Cape Henlopen T 1-1
@ Caesar Rodney L 3-0
@ Lake Forest W 7-0
vs. Dover W 3-2
@ St. Mark's L 4-1
vs. Concord W 2-1 *
vs. Caesar Rodney L 3-2 *
*- Tournament game